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| 23 April 2019 | Reply

Label: Spinefarm Records

Release Date: February 1, 2019

Rating: 95%

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

I have been a huge fan of Within Temptation over their last few albums, including Sharon’s recent solo disc My Indigo – and I have to admit, I wasn’t sure where the new WT disc would head after listening to that solo release, but listening through these ten tracks, the band has grown and morphed without losing touch with who they are.  Disc opener “The Reckoning” is a KILLER lead track that demonstrates the power of the band and the direction they have taken with this disc.  The addition of Jacoby Shaddix gives the song a bit of depth when the two vocals come together and swirl in the mix.  “Endless War” is up next and the song gives Sharon room to spread her vocal wings and take the song to new heights with vocals and an aria vibe that bridges the intro and the verses.  This is one of my favorite tracks on the disc and resonates with me each time I hear it.  “Supernova” is a cool track that allows the lead vocals and the keyboards to dance in the intro before the rest of the band kicks in and delivers a solid bottom end and plenty of guitar hooks to help carry the track.  den Adel’s voices seems to pop from the speakers through the chorus and helps gives this song added punch.  “In Vain” has a very ballad-ish feel to it through the intro and verse, but grows in intensity through the chorus.  The lyrics are delivered perfectly with the shift in vocal strength while the keyboards and guitars complement each other in the bridges and throughout the track.  “Mad World” is keyboard driven in the first few seconds, but soon some of the best guitar work on the disc joins the fray along with a powerful bottom end and one of the best vocals on the disc.  The layered vocals that bridge the verse and chorus are a cool addition to the track and disc, giving the song a cool sound and feel that takes over.  The driving rhythm of this track is contagious.

“Raise Your Banner” is a powerful track that benefits from den Adel’s beautiful voice and the punctuating power and screams from In Flames’ singer Anders Fridén.  The song has a tribal groove that carries us through the verse and into the chorus and bridge, with the path being cut by the powerful and punctuating vocals from Anders.  “Holy Ground” is a song that encompasses the vibe and groove of Within Temptation – this song could have been ripped from any of their last couple releases.  The vocals dance beautifully with the musical accompaniment in the mix and gives Sharon room to run and deliver vocals her fans have come to know and love.  “Firelight” is a holdout track from the previously mentioned My Indigo release that saw den Adel venture into new territory and the song gets a Within Temptation treatment, especially on the chorus, in addition to having Jasper Steverlinck in duet mode with Sharon on the verses.  The song has a different vibe and feel from the rest of the disc, yet still fits the sound of the collection.  “Mercy Mirror” is a great track that opens with a piano interlude that supports a vocal that stands out in the mix without sounding out of place.  The lyrics of this track are deep and the vocals help deliver the message with meaning.  The layered vocals are amazing and give the track a cool sound.  Disc closer “Trophy Hunter” has one of the best driving beats on the disc and comes charging at you from first note to last.  While the vocals are great, the music really steals the show on this one.  The rhythm section anchors the track perfectly underneath chugging riffs and cool fret work while the keyboards fills the void in between with ethereal sounds and grooves.  This song takes you out on a different note but in the same vein as the disc opened.  Make no mistake – Within Temptation have released another disc that is sure to hold up against anything they have released and should come across perfectly in a live scenario.

Tracklisting: The Reckoning – Endless War – Raise Your Banner – Supernova – Holy Ground – In Vain – Firelight – Mad World – Mercy Mirror – Trophy Hunter






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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